A thought experiment. Let's say Trump and Biden have their days counted. Which presidency would be the best for you, Harris or Pence? and why?

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The Democratic vision is progressive, while the Republican vision is regressive and, to be blunt, financially and culturally suicidal.

Just my opinion.


I feel like these two parties have grown so big and are so internally split into conflicting factions that the vision of either is no longer cohesive and drifts all over the place. Is it even possible to vote along party lines any more?

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I know, over the last decades the line dividing the two parties has become evermore blurred. Even though Bernie has pulled the Democratic Party to the left since 2016. Too bad he is no longer an independent candidate. This is just me, thinking out loud.

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Do you know what the downsides to ranked choice voting would be? I read an essay back when Trump and Clinton were competing with other candidates within their parties to be the party candidate for each that with ranked choice voting they wouldn’t have risen to the top at all.

My uninformed speculation is that that kind of voting favors moderates. Maybe?

I read Rupert Murdoch’s prediction that Biden will beat Trump badly.
We’ll see.

If this was a world where things made sense, I would bank on that. Instead, we are in this strange alternate universe where leadership and politics no longer make any sense to me.

Maybe it has been this way all along and I was just raised on fairy tales of leadership. Maybe this is the reality and always has been but I really feel like we’re living in somebody’s alternate history universe.

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Indeed, surreal it seems to be.

This book was heavy going, but explained so much (all with detailed references to each fact): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winner-Take-All_Politics
The wikipedia article is a decent summary.
Incidentally, in Australia we use (and love) our preferential (ranked choice) voting system, but we by and large love our compulsory voting even more.
I think it was instituted because when voting was optional, there were some appallingly low voter turnouts (15%? 10% :sweat_smile:) . But I think the population has come to see the value in it now, and it’s very much appreciated now.


Compulsory voting?! Wow. How is that incentivized or enforced? @Luke

If you don’t vote, you’re sent a fine after the election, @Argent, something like $60.
(We also always hold our elections on weekends, so it’s easy for everyone to vote. And you can mail in a postal vote if you arrange it beforehand, or do an ‘absentee vote’ by attending a voting place in whatever area you happen to be if you’re near one.
It all works really well.
It’d be better still if they banned political donations from organisations, or at the very least forced them all to be disclosed before the election. We also desperately need a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, like each State has. So we’re far from perfect.


100% Harris.

I personally don’t agree – as we’re talking – that the parties are similar. To me, they are so dissimilar that the thought experiment doesn’t quite work – Harris is so close to Biden and Pence so close to Trump that little would change. For instance, the officials that a President Harris would appoint to run the country would likely be 95% the same as those picked by President Biden. And vice versa with Pence / Trump.

The book American Nations was really useful for me to make sense of the current Republican vision for the country. Up to then, I had a very “European” understanding of US politics, and I didn’t understand the stakes. Lots of things are confusing about the country which were cleared up after processing that book.



John Tyler, after Harrison died, had a very strong presidency. To his will. Remember, You are the most powerful man or woman on earth. You can do anything or almost anything. I really don’t think FDR would ever have dropped the bombs on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I rest my case now.

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Glad we talked about this but let’s close the discussion for now. Maybe we’re getting a little bit off topic. Otherwise I’m going to start ranting about gerrymandering in Wisconsin and 18th century Caribbean slave estates.